Author Archives: oliviadevos
Hiking between tiny villages, a giddy experience walking up the tower of Pisa and a quick look at Milan’s Cathedral.
Voted the ugliest town in the world, some entrepreneurs managed to make something of it, offer a safari, albeit haphazard, a very casual set-up, allowing for anything to go wrong, well the attitude almost works but only because the guide was very amiable….Thanks to the photography club http://www.viewfinders.be who arranged the outing.
Mostly I didn’t find Charleroi too ugly, it’s industrial, I come from the Vaal triangle remember, it would remind me of ‘home’ if we didn’t traverse about 50 seasons in a single day, (it’s spring and I’m wearing gloves, got soaked from slipping in the mud) and was alternately rained and hailed upon, city centre looks clean and neat, although the people there do look different, down and out. Mostly the trash was kind of saddening….
My personal favourite, the ghost subway, listed as ‘nutteloze openbaar werken’ (there are loads of them if you do a google search, reminded me of the grand corrupt ‘toilet towns’ in South Africa in the 80’s). This railway was built for the so-called expansion of Charleroi, they expected great things and the railway was built in anticipation, although the actual subway in Charleroi is a dream, very arty. My brain boggles as mostly everything just lies there, unused, buildings and escalators and railway tracks intact, no vagrants have moved in there either…
I tried, in vain to add captions, but imagined stuff like: the patio, the car, the study (easy chair with computer parts), the bedroom…and check out the whacky water feature in someone’s garden, complete with bath, fountain, washing..oh and something not on the photo of course: the sound of dogs barking!
The abandoned mine let our imginations run riot..lots of exploring, this site was also used as a zoo!! Now that does not bear thinking about
Some people must be sighing with relief, others look forward to this yearly event with much anticipation, indeed the calender year in Europe is demarcated by festivals, Sint Niklaas on 6 December is a big event in Belgium, Santa cowers before this Spanish might together with black (I didn’t say it) helper and horse, people ask me if they exist in South Africa, are you crazy man! ‘Swarte Piet’ is not only the helper but the ‘court jester’, black because he came from Spain or because he’s full of soot, who knows, tradition has severely mangled this tale. After Christmas (which is a minor) there’s the festival of the Three Kings and some special tart to savour, there is a lucky coin too or bean (Tom Robbin’s Jitterbug Perfume?). Next of course is Carnival, if it’s determined by when the moon was last full, it must surely be pagan! A propos, Pole Space does exciting stuff like decide exactly what the time is and when carnival is exactly! Carnival celebrations are spread out over a month a two to allow each town to revel in festivities and for people to experience more than one adult ‘rag farm’! Brace yourself from February to April, giants, oranges, gilles and more… Mostly it’s an excuse to fulfil your wildest fantasy and kick back… These photos were taken in Halle, I’m not sure what the theme is but I kept expecting to see a rather confused Alice or a rabbit popping out from somewhere…